This is the first in a series of posts on my experiences volunteering with Code Club at St Lukes Primary School in Cambridge. My first session is in two weeks, so this is just my impressions before I start.
First off, I love the idea. Coding is just beginning to gain traction in UK schools, and as a concept, using coders to teach has huge benefits for the students, teachers, and the volunteers themselves. I’m really looking forward to getting started.
Second, the website is excellent. Signup was fast and straightforward – I contacted one school in my area, who it turned out had just taken on another volunteer. After a couple of weeks I was notified about St Luke’s – I sent an email through the website and after a couple of emails and a phone call we were set for September. A great experience.
Third, I had a brief exchange with one of the founders over email – they contacted me about CRBs (a crucial thing to get right) and were friendly and approachable, another big tick.
Fourth, the materials look great. I wouldn’t have had a clue how to approach Python with ten year olds, but the materials are well made, attractive and the coding tasks seem engaging and interesting. I’ll have more feedback when I try them out, but for now I’m confident that I have some great content to deliver.
Finally, they have done a great job of publicising themselves. I’ve been surprised by the number of people that have heard of them, and their growth in terms of the number of schools on board in a little over a year is impressive. Write-ups in the press have been very positive. They had a good idea at the right time and have implemented it well.
I’ll write more about my experiences after my first session – if you’re running a club or have any advice, please do get in touch in the comments or through Twitter.